Tonight, Stephen Curry tied the NBA's single-game record for made 3-point shots. Earlier this week, NBA legend Oscar Robertson made the following statement about Stephen Curry:
"If I've got a guy who's great shooting the ball outside, don't you want to extend your defense out a little bit?" the 77-year-old Big O said Thursday during a phone interview on ESPN's Mike & Mike show. "I just don't think coaches today in basketball understand the game of basketball. They don't know anything about defenses. They don't know what people are doing on the court. They talk about analytical basketball and stuff like that."Oscar Robertson's logic is as follows: Stephen Curry is amazing because NBA coaches are too stupid to realize that he is a good 3-point shooter. I.e. If NBA coaches realized that guarding Stephen Curry on the perimeter was a good idea; he wouldn't be doing what he is today.
As much as I have respect for Oscar Robertson as a basketball player, he's flat out wrong. Even more importantly, he comes off as one of those out-of-touch old guys who sits back in his rocking chair and talks about how everything was better in his day. Don't get me wrong, Oscar Robertson is entitled to his opinion and we should respect his right to speak his mind; but that doesn't mean that he should be free from criticism should he say something stupid. Oscar Robertson said something stupid and he needs to own up to it.
More importantly, Oscar Robertson is missing out on a golden opportunity to be a classy elder statesman of the NBA. Oscar Robertson is regarded by many to be the greatest player of his generation and some will even say he's the greatest player to ever play the game. He's a basketball legend and immortal of the game. His legacy is set in stone and nothing will change that. So, for him to try to tear down a guy like Stephen Curry who is on his own path to greatness looks rather petty and pathetic.
Instead of criticizing today's NBA coaches and diminishing Stephen Curry's accomplishments, Oscar Robertson should take the high road and praise Stephen Curry for revolutionizing the game and doing things that we've never seen done on a basketball floor before. Stephen Curry is one of the most special talents the game of basketball has ever seen and it's sad that Oscar Robertson, who was a special talent in his own right, fails to recognize Stephen Curry's special talent for what it is.